Only On The Hellmouth
written by Appomattoxco

Rating: FRM
Spoilers: None indicated. Departure from cannon.
Summary: The wish go a little differently resulting in a friendship that could only happen in Sunnydale. Writen for Buffyverse 1000 on LJ.
Thanks: Thanks to the wonderful Jane Davitt for the beta.
Feedback Author: Appomattoxco
Author's LJ: Tales From The Tourist Trap

He didn't shove her away and race to the dresser but he didn't roll over and fall asleep as she wanted him to do either. "Giles, no, please!" Anyanka moaned as Giles rose gracefully from the bed then bent to pick up one of his discarded shoes. "Don't destroy it!" If she was honest, she had to admit to feeling shocked; he was just a battle-weary Watcher; she had no idea that desperation could make a man so sexy or inventive. Her legs refused to hold her weight on the first attempt to stand and go after him, now she was the desperate one.

She decided it was worth lowering herself just a bit and allowed her eyes to fill with tears. It was the oldest trick in the book but it just might work with a white hat like Rupert Giles. She would keep her bargain but nothing said she couldn't try to get Giles to back out of it.

"Nice try, Anyanka, but we made a bargain," Giles said when she finally made it across the room. "Are you going to tell me I haven't fulfilled my end of it?"

"What if I said I loved you?" Anya asked, angry and instantly dry eyed.

"Unless you destroyed this yourself I would never believe you," Giles said, clearly not expecting her to do anything of the kind.

"Damn you. You won't remember a thing about this."

"I know that," Giles said, after a final, lingering kiss. It was her last act of vengeance that he would never know if it was love or perversity that drove her to take the shoe and be the one to crush the pendant under the heel.

* * * * *

Anya remained quiet and still even though it wasn't in her nature to be either, especially when she was trying to be angry. Giles was so deeply engrossed in the book he was studying that he hadn't noticed her enter the library. She reminded herself that no matter how nicely shaped he was, a Giles was the reason she'd lost her power.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Do you need help finding a book?" Giles asked, with a slight smile of apology.

This Giles seemed less desperate and a little softer around the edges than the one she knew. Studying him closely though she could see a patina of sadness; life had left its mark on this Giles too. Anya cleared her throat loudly, stiffened her spine and tried to banish the annoying sympathy she felt. She had a well practiced rant and the aggravating man had to smile in a way that didn't reach his eyes. When he took off his glasses she acted just like the stupid teenager she appeared to be and blurted out her first thought. "Your eyes are green."

"Yes, they have been for a while," Giles said and smiled a little wider.

"Here I was feeling all warm and soft and you're laughing at me? I'm not some little girl!" Anya practically growled. "I'm over 1100 years old and I'm mad at you, or at least I was until you smiled. It's just not fair."

Giles sighed and said to the universe in general. "Of course, nothing is ever simple or fair is it?" He didn't see any signs that the girl in front of him was about to drain away his life force or dismember him. Not knowing what else to do, he fell back on training that predated even what he learned from the Council; he pulled out a chair and handed the girl or whatever she was, his handkerchief. "Would a drink help?"

"God, yes, the strongest you have; I'm not in the mood to be picky."

"I was thinking of a glass of water or tea."

"In that case, no thank you," Anya said, disappointed.

"Do you think you're ready to tell me what this is all about?" Giles asked kindly when the girl seemed less distressed.

"My real name isn't Anya, it's Anyanka, I was a vengeance demon. My field was scorned women; I was up for employee of the century until my power center was destroyed and it's all your fault. A girl named Cordelia summoned me and everything was going well; the world where Buffy never came to Sunnydale was pretty much hell on earth, then you tried to take my pendant that was my power center. Anyway, when you weren't fast enough to get it, I decided to play a game. I said I would spend until sunrise sharing orgasms with you. I put the pendant on a dresser across the room and the first person to get up and reach it could do whatever he or she wanted with it."

Anya told him what happened during that night in more detail than Giles really wanted but she was sketchy on the facts of the morning after. She ended simply by saying that he had been the first to reach the pendant. When her tale was finished Giles sat back stunned. He just couldn't see himself making the sort of bargain Anya claimed his Alternate-self had made with her. It was too sordid and seemed egotistical. Anya had been very frank in telling him what had transpired; he couldn't sort out his feelings - embarrassment, fascination, perhaps a twisted hint of jealousy.

"He, the other you, was desperate," Anya concluded.

"Yes, well. What exactly did you come in here for?" Giles asked. He half expected her to say she wanted to try for two out of three. Recent candy related activity not withstanding he didn't know if he was up for the challenge. Even though part of him was saying that he could be with very little encouragement.

"My first thought was to find that redhead of yours. You know - Rowan? Fern?"

"You mean Willow?"

"Yes, that's her. I thought she could help me do a spell to get my power center back but I changed my mind. Kids that age almost always screw up the magics no matter how much natural talent they have."

Anya glared at the grin he tried to suppress and Giles shrugged. "You have to admit, you appear to be a `kid that age' yourself."

"You don't believe I'm not?" Anya asked. She was ready to storm out of the library until Giles put his hand over hers. It was as big and warm as she remembered. "I was going to demand you help me get my amulet back. Then you were nice and gave me your hanky and offered tea." She sighed in resignation. "Oh, what's the use? D'Hoffryn will only be angry and take it away again if I get it back anyway."

"So, what is it you want now, Anya?" Whether she was 17 or 1100 the woman in front of him looked so lost he couldn't help reaching out to her.

She wanted to throw herself at him and demand that he make love to her. It would be nice, better than nice and he would feel tied to her. Anya hated being so adrift. Instead she asked for what she really needed and wasn't so sure she could get. "Do you think you could help me? I don't know how to do this, be human, anymore. I know it's ludicrous but could you be my friend?"

"Well, it's no more ridiculous than anything else that's happened since I've arrived in Sunnydale. I'll be here if you need me. Now, I think you need to go to your next class." He was smiling and cleaning his glasses when she left.

* * * * *

Anya overheard Willow talking to the Slayer about people who were alone becoming depressed during the holidays. What Willow said planted an ugly seed of worry. Earlier in the day she had stopped by the library and asked Giles what his plans were for the holidays. At the time she only asked because everyone was asking their friends that and Giles was as close to a friend as she had in Sunnydale. She didn't know then that `nothing special, just relax and catch up on my reading, could be a cry for help or she would never have said that Santa was a letch with bad table manners.

Using her time in the computer lab to look up suicide rates would have raised a red flag in any other school, but people in Sunnydale never noticed anything. Even though what she knew of Giles told her he wasn't the type to give into despair, the statistics, when she looked them up, weren't reassuring. Giles was very sympathetic listener and a very nicely shaped man. She concluded that there was no other choice; she would have to brave the Christmas rush and go shopping.

* * * * *

"It's not supposed to be this cold there. This isn't a sign of impending doom or the start of a nuclear winter is it?" Anya asked, looking more annoyed than frightened. "It would be just my luck to become mortal right before the world ends."

"Surely, you can't be here because of the snow? It's only just started," Giles said taking her coat as she came in.

"Oh, I'm here to spend the winter holiday of your choice with you. What took you so long to open the door anyway?" she asked.

"I was standing by the window Anya; I answered the door on the second ring."

"I brought cookies," Anya said brightly, holding up the tin of biscuits. "The woman at the shop said they'd be good with tea. Fruitcake looks more festive but I got these because I actually like you. Even I know that nobody gives fruitcake to people that they like." An old favorite played on the radio and Anya asked, "You haven't been drinking, have you? My research shows that "White Christmas" and hard liquor should never be mixed in solitude."

Giles grinned widely; this girl had a quick mind and a faster tongue.

"Then it's fortunate for me that you've come by." When he took the biscuit tin from her the room suddenly felt too close. "I'll just um, make some tea to go with these… You have a seat here," Giles stammered, grateful that Anya didn't follow him into the kitchen. Of all the people to show up at his door on Christmas it had to be her. He'd been recalling the things she had told him about the bet with his alternate. On the surface they should be at worst embarrassing, and at best an ego boost. Something Bond would like to brag about over a pint. Giles, Rupert Giles, I saved the world with my sexual prowess. The reality was that that Anya had replaced Jenny in his dreams; erotic dreams that shifted to nightmares of a world without hope. Maybe his impulsive decision to help Anya wasn't such a bad idea. The dreams had helped him to be more compassionate to Buffy today. Giles didn't think he would have come to Angel's aid otherwise.

"Do you have any games?" Anya asked, startling Giles.

"Games?" he repeated, a bit alarmed over what sort of games Anya might come up with.

"You know; like Life or Checkers."

Giles heard Buffy's voice in his head complaining that the surreal just kept getting surreal-er. "I have Scrabble," he said, resigned to the strangeness.

They ended up playing Watcher Academy style using demon names. It was enjoyable at first; he and Anya were pretty evenly matched. It would have been a pleasant night in spite of Giles' inner turmoil if he hadn't mentioned the events of his day and Angel's struggle with the First Evil.

"So the brooding and his prior rat eating are because of the curse, right?" Anya asked when he finished the story. She laid down an X on a triple word score. "I mean, I'm pretty sure I have a soul now and I have 900 more years of evil to feel bad for and I don't want to relocate to the nearest gutter."

"I can't build onto anything with what I have left. It looks like you've won," Giles said. Then he asked, "Don't you have any feelings of shame or regret?"

"Not at the moment; it's the English spelling, I've won fair and four cornered."

"It's `fair and square' and you know I didn't mean about the game." A sick feeling grew inside him. He'd been thinking of Anya as human now but was she just a vengeance demon without power?

"You are beginning to sound pompous, Mr. Giles. I was doing my job."

"That's not an acceptable excuse even if it's been used countless times," Giles said.

"I was a demon then. My kind has been summoned by a few Slayers over the centuries. Who do you suppose could hurt a Slayer so badly? I'll give you a hint - they weren't hurt by anything it was their job to slay."

"How much worse off were they when you were through?" Giles accused.

"So, you've decided I'm not human enough for you because I'm not insane with regret. I. Don't. Do. Regret." Anya said each word softly but her anger was clear. "It's a waste of time and I don't have as much of that as I used to. Maybe it's not me with the defective soul. Why wasn't anyone else worried about you spending Christmas alone?"

Anya left the apartment with her back stiff and her fists clenched. Giles was going to simply let her leave when he realized she had gone out into the snow without her coat.

In most arguments there's a moment when the anger clears enough so that you can understand the hurt you've inflicted. Sometimes it takes a long time - in this case it was the moment Giles wrapped Anya's coat around her. Large wet flakes continued to drift down slowly, covering the courtyard in sparkling white and catching in Anya's chestnut hair. "You look like a fairy with the snow in your hair," Giles said.

"No, I don't; I look like the deer with the light bulb for a nose," Anya said with a sniff. "I guess I do regret after all because I'm sorry for the things I said. It feels terrible to hurt you."

"I owe you an apology too. You've asked me for help and offered your friendship. I shouldn't have implied you weren't worthy of either."

Anya said, "I'll never mention my past again. I don't want us to argue."

"We can't do that; our past shapes who we are. It's very likely we'll only find something else to argue over. Besides, you've given me a lot to think about tonight."

"Also I might have given you pneumonia. You walked out here to give me my coat without yours on, silly man!" Anya started to lead him back inside and said, "You know my past could be very useful in your work as a Watcher. I have a lot of inside information about demons and I might even still have contacts…"

Giles resisted the urge to quote Casablanca. He was fairly certain Rick never wanted to shut Louie up with a kiss anyway.